By Zain Abdullah
The adjustments to U.S. immigration legislations that have been instituted in 1965 have resulted in an inflow of West African immigrants to ny, developing an enclave Harlem citizens now name ''Little Africa.'' those immigrants are instantly recognizable as African of their wide-sleeved gowns and tasseled hats, yet such a lot native-born contributors of the group are blind to the an important function Islam performs in immigrants' lives. Zain Abdullah takes us contained in the lives of those new immigrants and exhibits how they take care of being a double minority in a rustic the place either blacks and Muslims are stigmatized. facing this twin id, Abdullah discovers, is very advanced. a few longtime citizens include those immigrants and spot their arrival as a chance to reclaim their African history, whereas others see the immigrants as scornful invaders. In flip, African immigrants frequently take a very harsh view in their new friends, paying for into the worst stereotypes approximately American-born blacks being lazy and incorrigible. And whereas there has lengthy been a wide Muslim presence in Harlem, and citizens usually see Islam as a strength for social stable, African-born Muslims see their Islamic identification left out by means of so much in their acquaintances. Abdullah weaves jointly the tales of those African Muslims to color a desirable portrait of a community's efforts to carve out house for itself in a brand new state.
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Extra info for Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem
The association ofﬁce teems with people. Free African newspapers litter the tables, along with ﬂyers and pamphlets advertising all sorts of services for African immigrants, such as special health-care beneﬁts and translation assistance. In a space just twenty-ﬁve by seventy feet, parts are sectioned off for computer classes and English lessons. ” Abdoulaye yells. He rises to meet me, and we embrace. I notice a large poster on the wall above where he was sitting, advertising a beachfront housing development in Dakar.
Laye, age twenty-seven, has completed elementary school, Islamic studies, and an apprenticeship to become a mechanic. He is Murid, but his family belongs to the Niassen, a branch of the Tijani Suﬁ brotherhood. At the time of the voyage, Laye had two brothers, a younger sister, a retired father, and a mother at home, and his temporary jobs, obtained by standing on street corners and waiting for sporadic work, were insufﬁcient to support them and his distant relatives. His sacriﬁce was for his family and the future of his unborn children.
You go to Senegal, you can eat or sleep at anybody’s house. That’s not religious. That’s Africa. ” In this sense, the common good is not merely a religious dictate but also a cultural imperative. In other words, Islam animates these cultures at very speciﬁc times, providing a religious dimension to their cultural or ethnic lifeways. For many countries in the developing world, people seem to ﬁt into one of two social categories. The growing majority are perpetually poor, while fewer are moderately well off.